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Swamp Thing

Wes Craven

Swamp Thing
In the age of CGI, bringing any superhero to life on the big screen is hardly a challenge. However, back in 1982, things were a little different. The tragically underrated Swamp Thing, like Superman before it, was a DC Comics film that relied more on a first-class story and a truly affecting hero than mind-altering special effects. That's not to say there weren't any, but where Craven's film succeeds is certainly in the woeful tale of this lonesome champion. The epitome of cult classic, Swamp Thing is set in the Florida Everglades where scientist Dr. Alec Holland (Ray Wise) and eventual girlfriend/government agent Alice Cable (Adrienne Barbeau) develop a formula that could end many of the world's problems, which the evil Arcane (Louis Jordan) has his greedy eyes on. When he sends his henchmen to acquire the serum, all hell ensues and in a freak explosion Alec is transformed into a monster that is part human, part plant and all hero. From there on in, Alec must save Alice from the clutches of Arcane, as well as stop the madman from using his formula for evil. Swamp Thing contains all of the necessary elements to not only make it a good comic book adaptation but also a powerfully emotional and enjoyable film. There is comedy within, mostly through some sexual chemistry between the two lovers, "Little Bruno" and the delightful Jude (Reggie Batts), a young boy caught in the crossfire of the action. And of course, you can't forget the battle at the end between the transformed Arcane and Swamp Thing, which brings in the all-important camp factor to ensure that this film doesn't take itself too seriously. Swamp Thing was Craven's finest achievement by 1982 — something horror fans may argue with — and even today it's arguably one of his best and one of the most pleasurable comic book adaptations to receive the celluloid treatment. (Sony/MGM)



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